Same Time Next Year?


“Thanks for everything” I heard my daughter say as she hugged her grandparents. “Thanks for everything” Christian says as he finishes the fries from the value meal he bought after every game this season with money from his grandparents. “Thanks for everything” Isaac repeats as we walk my parents to the door tonight. “Thanks for everything” John echos from the hallway. I give them both huge hugs, not wanting to let go and whisper my thanks as I fight back the tears. “Thanks for everything.”

My parents have been living in Bend for two months during the basketball season. They have spoiled their grandchildren with time, fast food, rides all over the town, and been to every game they could possibly get to. They have eased the transition for me, as Scott started his job and is now gone Sunday night thru Friday. My mom has made countless dinners, made sure we had salad or other vegetables, edited papers, helped me with the girls I babysit and reminded me I am okay. They have both helped me with Kari’s Kitchen and supported me in a thousand ways I can not even name. “Thanks for everything.”

At times it feels like words are shallow. I often feel inadequate when it comes to expressing my gratitude. How do you find words to express the inner workings of your heart to another. My dad has driven countless miles back and forth between the high school and home. Every day he texted me and said “How can I help you today?” He has made sure my wine rack is full and a glass available whenever I need it. “Thanks for everything”

In a time where families are spread out across the country and others are torn apart with misunderstanding and anger, I count this time with them as a treasure more valuable than Gold. “Thanks for everything.”

Definition of EVERYTHING
a : all that exists

b : all that relates to the subject
: all that is important
: all sorts of other things —used to indicate related but unspecified events, facts, or conditions

This was my post on February 24, 2012. Today I say good-bye again to my parents after having been here for another basketball season. Everything is still true and with our son Isaac being a senior, and spending a full year away from my wonderful husband who is commuting to a job so he is only here on weekends, the time with them seemed even more poignant. Time moves on and I can only try to live in the moment and enjoy but sometimes its important to once again say “Thanks for Everything.”


Day eighteen, the last night



Sunshine warms my face, and Gus sleeps at my feet as I enjoy the breakfast/ lunch that Christian made for me. I slept in for the first morning of my time here, and had no agenda for the day. Christian had asked that we go to a beach since we have spent all our time working on the cabin. John wanted to work a few more hours on the property so the rest us took off for Bennett Bay. The boys and Gus venture down the beach to rock hop and climb to the end of the bay. Jessie, her friend Jas, and I sat down to soak up the sun.

It was hard to believe that this is my last full day on the island. I am so thankful for the time here, and the house is looking great. I created a little vignette of my grandmothers hats, purses, gloves and jewelry in honor of her amazing collection. I have loved seeing my children invest in the house that was built by their great grandparents. I am so proud of their hard work, and how their investment will pay off for future generations of our family.

We ventured down to jump off the dock, and even though Isaac and John did not jump, we all walked together down the hill and onto the dock. It is moments like this that I treasure. I etch the moment in my heart, and know that I will be able to recall this feeling, this smell, this special time in the future.

We end the night at the lighthouse. A beautiful sunset, a baby seal barking out to his mamma, and the waves slapping the shore. This is a perfect day, a beautiful night and fitting end to my special time on my special island.






Fill in the blank Friday Johnson style: Food


Fill in the blank Friday Johnson style: Food

Favorite breakfast food:

Isaac: French Toast with hash browns
John: Fried eggs and bacon
CJ: Scrambled egg and bacon burrito
Jessie: French Toast with bacon
Mom: Egg Benedict

Favorite restaurant for breakfast:

Isaac: El Farro in Ixtapa, Mexico
John: Pilot Butte Drive In,Bend OR
CJ: Pilot Butte Drive In, Bend OR
Jessie: Pilot Butte Drive In, Bend OR
Kari: Victorian Cafe, Bend OR

Favorite fast food restaurant for breakfast:

Isaac: McDonalds
John: McDonalds
CJ: McDonalds
Jessie: Subway
Kari: McDonalds

Favorite take-out breakfast:

Isaac: Rockin’ Dave’s Bagels, Bend OR
John: Safeway
CJ: Krispy Kreme
Jessie: Farmer’s Market on Mayne Island, Canada
Kari: Sunny Mayne Bakery on Mayne Island, Canada

Favorite lunch food:

Isaac: Quesadilla
John: Ham and Cheese sandwich
CJ: Pizza
Jessie: Chinese Chicken Salad
Kari: Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Favorite restaurant for lunch:

Isaac: Chans
John: Pilot Butte Drive In
Cj: Red Robin
Jessie: Red Robin
Kari: Soba Noodles

Favorite fast food restaurant for lunch:

Isaac: Taco Bell
John: Taco Bell
CJ: Subway
Jessie: In-N-Out
Kari: Burgerville

Favorite take-out lunch:

Isaac: Tai on the Fly, Bend OR
John: Panda Express
CJ: New York Sub
Jessie: Jamba Juice
Kari: Tai on the Fly, Bend OR

Favorite dinner food:

Isaac: Lasagna and Caesar Salad and fresh bread
John: Baby Back Ribs
CJ: Burgers
Jessie: French Dip
Kari: Anything I don’t have to make, except broccoli

Favorite restaurant for dinner:

Isaac: Frank’s in Ixtapa, Mexico
John: TGIF
CJ: Springwater Lodge on Mayne Island, Canada
Kari: PF Changs

Favorite fast food restaurant for dinner:

Isaac: Dairy Queen
John: Taco Bell
CJ: Wendy’s
Jessie: Burgerville
Kari: In-N-Out

Favorite take-out for dinner:

Isaac: Long Board Louis’
John: Papa Murphy’s
CJ: Papa Murphy’s
Jessie: Pizza Mondo
Kari: Cebelli’s

Favorite family cooked meals:

Breakfast: Grandpa Darrell’s pancakes
Lunch: Mom’s quesadillas
Dinner: Grandma Ellen and Grandpa Gale’s holiday dinner
Dessert: Jessie’s strawberry shortcake

Breakfast: Grandpa Gale’s eggs
Lunch: Isaac’s Nachos
Dinner: Grandpa Gale’s enchiladas
Dessert: Mom’s brownies

Breakfast: Grandpa Darrell’s pancakes and eggs
Lunch: Mom’s sandwiches
Dinner: Mom’s BBQ drumsticks
Dessert: Mom’s strawberry shortcake

Breakfast: Aunt Diane’s sticky buns
Lunch: Mom’s turkey soup
Dinner: Mom’s chicken enchiladas
Dessert: Grandma Ellen’s Ginger Cookies

Breakfast: Grandpa Darrell’s pancakes
Lunch: CJ’s burgers
Dinner: Scott’s fresh caught fish
Dessert: Johnson’s Almond Roca




Day eight on my island, Triumph and Trouble


Day eight on my island, Triumph and Trouble

We spent the weekend without water in the kitchen sink. The bolt would not budge for anyone or any thing. Isaac bless his heart, washed al lithe dishes in the bathtub last night. I got a wonderful night of sleep and woke up with renewed vigor to tackle our faucet issue. I enlisted my sister and daughter and we went down to the bakery to sweet talk the old men and see if they could help. I had already talked to them once and they had told me there was a man I needed to speak to who would have the correct tool. I fueled my self on coffee and a raspberry scone from the bakery and approached the table.

I used my best smile and asked once again for help. They all pointed to on man and I said what do I need to do t o get this tool. He smiled and said come to my house and get it. I of course squealed with delight and made the arrangements. I left the table, did a happy dance which made all the men laugh. I still did not have a name, but I had the directions to his home and I knew I was going to be able to fix the stupid faucet.

We went to his beautiful home with an incredible view looking back towards the main land. Their parents had built the home in the early fifties and now the fourth generation of family was enjoying the Island. He listened to my accounting of the faucet issue and gave me a tool we were both sure would work. I came back to our home eager to get this problem solved. The tool was exactly what I needed and after some maneuvering, pounding, swearing and faucet wreckage it was out. I came out of the cabinet under that sink and ran out to the back, screamed a roar of triumph, and did another happy dance.

I got out the new faucet placed it on the sink, dove gleefully under the sink cabinet and hooked the cold water and then the hot water to the new faucet, turned the valves and asked my sister to turn the faucet on. It worked beautifully. Unfortunately, I noticed a leak in the hot water hose. I turned the hot water off at the valve and nothing happened. I was getting doused with water and nothing I turned or tweaked did anything to stop the flow. I am laughing and swearing and calling for help. I send my sister and kids out of the house to find the main water shut off and the whole hose to the hot water breaks.

I now have a beautiful faucet, a very clean kitchen floor and sink cabinet, cold water to the house but no water to the kitchen sink and no hot water to the house. The plumber has yet to return my calls. I get out from the sink, change my clothes, start a load of towels and my wet clothes. I make myself a gin and tonic and call it a day. I do have a beautiful faucet, and a cold shower is better than no shower at all. Maybe tomorrow I will get the call, maybe not. No worries eh? It is island life.




Day three on my island, Sunny Mayne Bakery


Another sunny morning on my island. Christian, my dad and I, walk down to the bakery for breakfast. On any given morning there will be an eclectic mix of people gathered here. A mixed group of thirty something’s talk about the organic produce available and what is freezes well and what does not. A mother and her young son come out of the bakery with an ice cream cone though it is only nine in the morning. His huge smile lights up the whole porch eating area, and no one who sees him can help but smile.

The one group you can always count on is the group of old men sitting around shooting the breeze. These codgers have been meeting for as long as the bakery has been open. The numbers and the players change but from what I can tell the conversation rarely does. The weather, a few jokes, a comment about the coffee. A complaint about the ferry schedule and “eh?” between each comment.

I think sometimes I am in the movie “Groundhog’s Day” where every day repeats itself. There is a comfort in the repetitive style of the island, a reassuring sense that the world though moving very quickly, stays, in some places, at a pace that is manageable. Drink coffee, breathe, have ice cream for breakfast, repeat.




Whimsical Wednesday: Fourth of July

Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.- from history.com

Today was a perfect fourth of July. I went for a walk with my husband and daughter, I went to work in a town that I love at a shop where I feel valued and then had friends over for a BBQ dinner and to watch our towns firework show. It was perfect because I live in a country where all things are possible. We so often disagree on politics, values, who is right, and who is wrong, but today we can join together and all be thankful that we live in a country where we are free. Free to agree, to disagree.

I do love America, and today is a reminder of how blessed we are. I have two children from a country that is not so lucky. Millions of people live lives where freedom to speak, or freedom to choose a job, or live a life where they are not afraid of the government that rules the country they were born into, is not even a possibility. Today I celebrate, because I can!

Saturday Story Time: I see you and I am blessed

Saturday Story Time: I see you and I am blessed


I found this when I was looking through some old documents tonight hoping for inspiration for my blog.  The man I married has done so very much for our family and for me.  I wonder how often we forget to say the simple things because we think the other already knows how we feel.  I wrote this over four years ago, and only a few things would need to be changed today.  His job now takes him away from us on a weekly basis and instead of pouring his heart into his sermon’s and congregation he ministers to families at their greatest time of need in the hospital.  His sacrifices, his commitment to our family and these now teenage children has not wavered. I see him and I am blessed.  Who do you need to tell, not before it is too late, but simply because you have been blessed by who they are.


To my dear husband,


There are times when I am sure it feels like you are all alone and your work goes un- noticed and un-appreciated.  This is not true, so hear me when I tell you:


I see you and I am blessed

I see you in the morning when you are tired and want to stay in bed,

But you get up anyway,

I see you and I am blessed

I see you making sure that the boys know you love them before they go off to school,

I see you and I am blessed

I watch with amazement as you juggle your office from the church facility to home so you can be here for the dogs, kids and me,

I see you and I am blessed

I notice your commitment to heating our home, your worried eyes as you see the kids and want to make sure they are warm,

I see you and I am blessed

I have observed your skills as a man of the house,

doing our laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, never complaining as you continue through the weekly grind,

I see you and I am blessed

I am aware of your commitment to this wonderful church,

called Cascade Covenant.  A gift from God that you have sweat blood and tears over for the past 7 years,

I see you and I am blessed

I see the joy that you receive from giving to others,

your unselfish demeanor that guides our lives,

I see you and I am blessed

I observe the countless ways you labor with love to make our home a place of refuge, joy, peace and love,

I see you and I am blessed

I see you when you do not think I am looking and I feel honored to be the receiver of your desire, devotion, love and sense of humor these past 17 years,

I see you and I am blessed

I have observed your walk with God, your integrity and desire to always do the right thing,

I see you and I am blessed

I notice the time, consideration, brain power, research, prayer and intimacy with our savior that brings an incredible message to your

church family, week, after week, after week

I see you and I am blessed

I am aware of the passion and competitive nature that brings a pride unbridled of your children and their success as athletes & students,

I see you and I am blessed

I know the tears you have cried as you have hurt for John, not only for his vision but for his story and his journey to manhood,

I see you and I am blessed

I take in the effort you put in on a daily, sometimes hourly basis to do what it takes to make our living here in Bend possible,

I see you and I am blessed

As we go to bed each night, having been honored with another day

I see you and I am blessed


I truly am the most blessed woman and I love you more than I can say

do not ever forget, wonder or reflect on your incredible life without knowing,

I see you and I am blessed